to Mr. Bayard.
London , May 5, 1888. (Received May 15.)
Sir: Referring to my dispatch No. 726 of April 21, I have the honor to inclose herewith copies of the procès-verbaux of the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth sittings of the International Sugar Conference.*
In the former (page 3, last paragraph, and page 4), a question was asked by one of the French delegates and answered by me, with regard to the exportation from the United States of sugar from Louisiana and from the Sandwich Islands. On this occasion also a committee was appointed at the suggestion of a French delegate, M. Catusse, to consider and report upon the technical details bearing upon Article II of the convention. The composition of this committee will be found at page 12 of the process-verbal of April 13.
The eleventh sitting, Monday, April 16, was chiefly taken up with the discussion of those articles of the convention in respect to which there was little difference of opinion.
At the twelfth sitting of the conference, April 18, M. Pallain, of France, made a speech with regard to the United States, which will be found at pages 5 to 9 of the procès-verbal. He began by calling attention to our absence from the list of high contracting powers, and stated that it was indispensable, in the opinion of his Government, that we should be among them. M. Pallain quoted at length from a speech made by Mr. McCreary, of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives, in reference to the proposed conference of American powers for the purpose of promoting commercial relations between each other, and stated that, in view of the fact that the Argentine Republic is one of the principal markets for French sugar, and in view of the apparent probability of an American customs union, he thought the French Government perfectly right not only in desiring the inclusion of the United States in the convention, but in considering such inclusion absolutely indispensable to that of France.
On the same occasion the German delegate called attention to the United States, and after expressing the earnest wish of his Government that we should become a party to the convention, he said that, failing our adhesion thereto, if the conference were to have any practical results, a penal clause such as that proposed by the Spanish delegates would be necessary. This is also the opinion of the French, Austrian, Spanish, and Russian Governments.
At the thirteenth sitting of the conference, revised copies of the procès-verbal of which have not yet reached me, M. Pallain, of France, again spoke at length with respect to the United States, his remarks being this time based upon a speech made by Senator Wilson, of Iowa, on the 5th April, in the Senate, in which “a reasonable bounty for the production of sugar in the United States” is suggested.
The French delegate concluded by saying that, from Senator Wilson’s speech, and from other documents which he had read, he inferred that the United States are drifting away from, rather than towards, a sugar union.
There have been further sittings of the conference on the 23d and 28th April, on the 1st and 3d instants, and to day; in reference to all of [Page 716] which I shall have the honor shortly of writing to you. The corrected procès-verbaux of these sittings shall be forwarded as they reach me.
I have, etc.,